The opportunity for impact investment in women-led businesses is huge, especially since they perform better and have higher social impact. However, there seems to be a disconnection between investors and women-led companies. While women entrepreneurs require capital to grow their ventures, they are receiving less funds than their male counterparts. Latin American impact investing industry has invested only 10% of funds in women-led businesses. According to a survey by LAVCA, out of 78 impact investors in LAC: 27 (35%) reported no investment and 23 (30%) reported that 10% or fewer of investments were in women-led businesses. Investors claim that there is not enough women-led or women-owned pipeline. Additionally, women and girls continue to lack access to many services and products that would improve their quality of life and gender equality – products and services spanning healthcare, education, employment services, etc. A recent report by Value for Women estimates that only about 11% of social businesses in Latin America have gender inclusive business models, with the specific aims of leveling the playing field for women and men, empowering women, or providing solutions to social issues that disproportionately affect women.
Pro Mujer is convinced of the potential that women entrepreneurs have for both, growing the economy and positively impacting their communities through business models. For that reason, in order to create the conditions to unlock capital for women entrepreneurs, they asked the Capstone team to identify ways impact investors can reach more women entrepreneurs, address conscious or unconscious bias when selecting impact entrepreneurs and assess if the financial instruments are adequate for women-led businesses.